By Abubakar Yunusa and Daniel Otera
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD West Africa) has condemned the postponement of the presidential election in Senegal, originally scheduled for 25 February.
The Centre expressed concerns that the postponement will disrupt the timeline for the conduct of elections in the future.
“This decision represents a clear violation of the rule of law and the democratic rights of the Senegalese people. We therefore urge the Senegalese government to respect the sanctity of the democratic process,” It stated in a statement on Tuesday, February 6.
CDD also called on ECOWAS and the African Union to engage with all the stakeholders in Senegal in resolving the crisis “swiftly and peacefully” to avoid “further disruptive actions, which could undermine the democracy.”
“We similarly express our concern about the attempted disruption of mobile internet services and the closure of certain media outlets following the public outcry against the postponement of the elections,” the statement added.
In a dramatic turn of events, Senegal’s National Assembly voted on Monday to postpone the highly anticipated presidential election until 15th December. The decision, which extends the election timeline by nearly 10 months, has ignited protests and constitutional debates.
The postponement was announced after opposition lawmakers who rejected President Macky Sall’s earlier decision to delay the election were removed from the Assembly as security operatives stormed the building.
President Sall’s decision to postpone the election mere weeks before the scheduled date has raised eyebrows across the nation. The adopted bill has extended President Sall’s tenure, which was originally set to end in April. Critics view this move as an attempt to remain in power or to influence his successor.